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Dr. Bill McCarthy



Ph.D. (1990) Sociology, University of Toronto

Office Location

CLJ, 566

Office Hours

Tuesdays 10:00-11:00 AM or by appointment

Areas of Specialization

Race and Crime
Sex Work


Bill McCarthy joined Rutgers University-Newark in 2020. His early research focused on adolescent offending and relationships with parents, fictive family, peers, and romantic partners. In these studies, he and his co-authors developed ideas about criminal capital, co-offending, success, social bonds, and danger. Some of his more recent research examines overt discrimination and juvenile crime, while other projects use a labor perspective to examine sex work. His current work focuses on racial segregation, crime, policing, and criminal injustice in Chicago and is the subject of a 2022 book with John Hagan and Daniel Herda (details below). His research has involved the collection of original survey and interview data from homeless adolescents and adults working in the sex industry, as well as analyses of secondary survey data and official data. His awards include the 2020 American Society of Criminology Mentor Award and the 2020 University of California Davis Graduate and Postdoctoral Mentorship Award; the 2010 American Society of Criminology (ASC) Outstanding Paper Award (for McCarthy, B. & Casey, T. (2008). Love, sex and crime: Adolescent romantic relationships and offending. American Sociological Review, 73, 944-969); and the 1998 ASC American Michael J. Hindelang Outstanding Book on Crime and the 1997 Society for the Study of Social Problems. C. Wright Mills Outstanding Book on Social Problems Award (for Hagan, J. & McCarthy, B. (1997). Mean streets: Youth crime and homelessness. New York: Cambridge University Press).


Recent & Key Publications

McCarthy, B., Hagan, J., Herda, D., & Skogan, W. (2023). The past as prologue: Police stops and legacies of complaints about neighborhood police misconduct. Race & Justice. https://doi.org/10.1177/21533687221140553

Hagan, J., McCarthy, B., & Herda, D. (2022). The President and the Boss’s son: Prosecuting the crimes of America’s most powerful. Theoretical Criminology0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/13624806221122610

Hagan, J., McCarthy, B., & Herda, D. (2022). Chicago’s reckoning: Racism, politics, and the deep history of policing in an American city. New York: Oxford University Press. https://global.oup.com/academic/product/chicagos-reckoning-9780197627860?cc=us&lang=en&

Herrera, J., & McCarthy, B. (2022). Street harassment interpretations: An exploration of the intersection of gender and race/ethnicity, and mediator variables. Violence Against Women

Hagan, J., McCarthy, B., & Herda, D. (2021). Racist torture and the code of silence: A situational analysis of sidebar secrecy and legal cynicism in the trial of Jon Burge. Du Bois Review 1-30. doi:10.1017/S1742058X21000151

McCarthy, B., Jansson, M., & Benoit, C. (2021). Job attributes and mental health: A comparative study of sex work and hairstyling. Social Science 10, 35. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10020035

Hagan, J., McCarthy, B., & Herda, D. (2020). What the study of legal cynicism and crime can tell us about reliability, validity, and versatility in law and social science research. Annual Review of Law and Social Science 16, 1-20.

McCarthy, B., Hagan, J., & Herda, D. (2020). Neighborhood climates of legal cynicism and complaints about abuse of police power. Criminology, 58, 510-536.

Hagan, J., McCarthy, B., Herda, D., & Chandrasekher, A.C. (2018). Dual process theory of racial isolation, legal cynicism, and reported crime. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115, 7190-7199.

Herda, D., & McCarthy, B. (2018). No experience required: Violent crime and anticipated, vicarious, and experienced racial discrimination. Social Science Research, 70, 115-130.

Gartner, R., & McCarthy, B. (editors). (2014) The Oxford handbook on gender, sex, and crime: An interdisciplinary review of research and theory. New York: Oxford University Press.